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Israel disputes Jesus' Palestinian origin in exchange with satirical Twitter account Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israel disputes Jesus' Palestinian origin in exchange with satirical Twitter account

A Greek Orthodox priest stands in front of the Tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem [AFP]

Date of publication: 4 June, 2020

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After a popular satirical Twitter profile criticised Jesus' depiction as a white man, Israel's official account appeared to take issue with its description of Jesus as a "Roman-era Palestinian".
Israel's official Twitter account has disputed a popular satirical profile's assertion of Jesus' Palestinian background in a Twitter exchange on Wednesday.

The comedy Twitter account @TheTweetOfGod - which satirises God's would-be critiques of mortal affairs - has posted an image of the commonly-depicted fair-skinned Jesus captioned: "Privilege doesn't get much whiter than making a Roman-era Palestinian look like this."

Israel's official Twitter account, which is managed by the state's foreign ministry, replied: "God: Jesus was a Palestinian. Jesus: Hey Dad, remember when you gave that speech about Jewish values at my Bar Mitzvah?"

The reply appeared to use Jesus' Jewish heritage as a rebuttal of his Palestinian background.

In a now-deleted tweet, "God" replied: "TheTweetOfGod: Jesus wasn't actually fair-skinned. Israel's Twitter account: Hey TheTweetOfGod, I am the official Twitter account of the State of Israel and I am going to officially respond to you for the world to see and also Palestinians suck."

To that, Israel's account answered: "'And on the eighth day God created Google Translate.'"

The common consensus among researchers remains that Jesus - an important figure in Judaism, Christianity and Islam - was a Jew from first-century Palestine.

Studies of Jesus' life were largely based on the Gospels in the New Testament, which state he was born in Bethlehem and grew up in Nazareth, in Roman-occupied Judea.

Jesus' physical appearance has long been the subject of debate. Recent criticism focused on common depictions of Middle East-born Jesus as a white man with blue eyes and European facial features.

Though religious texts contain scant details of Jesus' appearance, experts estimate he would have looked like Jews of his time and place, with features such as olive skin, brown eyes and dark hair.

In addition to pitting Jesus' Jewish identity against his origins in Palestine, Israel's initial Twitter rebuttal also raised eyebrows by having Jesus refer to God as his "Dad".

Unlike Christianity, Judaism does not recognise Jesus to be the son of God, while Islam considers him to be an important prophet. 

Israel's foreign ministry, which runs @Israel, noted this doctrinal difference on its own website.

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